12 TRENDS that will define the 2020s

Chief Editor Jan Yong came up with 12 trends that he sees will happen within the next 10 years.

  • Identification Implants

Chips implanted on our hands (or foreheads) may replace our dozens of cards including credit cards, debit cards, etc. At the same time, there will be demands for stronger data privacy laws.

  • Cashless Society

Following China and India’s footsteps, cashless transactions will become the norm with even hawkers accepting e-payment. E-wallets and digital banks where everything is paperless will flourish. Blockchain will make a comeback as an alternative payment currency.

  • 5G Transformational Impact

Everything from homes, appliances, handsets and cars will smarten up as a result of the exponentially faster speed. More automation including robots will help in our daily tasks. Faster speeds (20X that of 4G) will allow leaps in research work resulting in a surge of new discoveries and advanced knowledge. 5G wireless connection will become widespread and even free. As a result, remote working and the gig economy will gain traction amid huge improvements in apps built specially to facilitate such remote work. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, etc, will all be transported to the next level.

  • Advance Medicine

New and more advanced medical procedures will have the capacity to prolong lives. Stem cell procedures can replace defective and aging organs while advanced medications can help reverse aging.

  • Going Green Gains Giant Steps

As climate change effects including extreme and unpredictable weather patterns become more frequent and more severe, more nations will enact laws to combat the risks including phasing out fossil fuels and embracing renewable energy such as solar and wind energy on a global scale. Carbon credits may become an alternative form of payment and sustainable communities or villages will spring up in urban centres.

  • Retirement Communities

With declining birth rates, and longer lifespans due to advanced medicine, the aging population is increasing giving rise to demand for creative retirement communities including cruise ships and private homes/communities adapted for active older residents. Facilities will include doctors and nurses on call, and advanced equipment including multifunctional wrist-straps that connect directly to hospitals in the event of emergencies.

  • Sharing Economy Becomes Mainstream

The Millennial and Z generations lead the charge for a more sophisticated sharing economy that relies on mobile apps and faster 5G wireless speed. As people share cars, living and working spaces, and even tools and home appliances, the circular economy helps sustainability reducing our carbon footprint.

  • Much Faster Airplanes and Trains

This will allow people to stay further away from city centres, thus spreading out the population. As a result, prices of properties will adjust lower to meet lower demand in city centres. Faster building times due to advanced construction methods (e.g. China built a hospital catering to Covid-19 cases in a record 10 days) will further cause a better match between supply and demand. With a more balanced supply and demand situation, prices will stabilise and speculation will be a thing of the past.

  • Mobility Hubs And Car-Free Zones Will Be More Widely Available

Eliminating cars during certain days at designated streets or areas is becoming the new trend in select American and European cities and won’t be long before more Asian cities follow suit.

  • Flying Cars and Autonomous Vehicles Will Take Off

Buildings and infrastructure will smarten up to allow a ‘super suspended highway’ for flying cars. Uber has pledged to start testing its Uber Air flying taxi service in 2020, and even projected they will be mainstream as early as 2023.

  • Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attacks will become more frequent against cities, governments and countries, and not just private companies. More budget allocation is put into countering this new form of terrorism. ‘Cloud’ becomes the battleground as storage increases at an exponential rate.

  • More Unique Tourism Experiences

This sector will see more new products, mostly centred around unique experiences such as working in rescue animal sanctuaries, pet-sitting around the world, working in farms and cruise ships, swimming with whales and even trekking to remote destinations on Earth. Some might even offer a scientific expedition e.g. Arctic, Antarctica and even the International Space Station (ISS).

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